Video Poker: How Come People Lose More Than They Should

by Jaime on October 14th, 2010

Ask any gambling establishment executive and they will tell you that electronic poker is really a genuine money maker for the house. Yet, many video poker games feature a casino edge of less than one percent, and others nevertheless can in fact yield over a 100 per cent payback if the gambler uses an optimal betting strategy. Thus, the question needs to be asked: How can these to seemingly contradictory facts be reconciled?

The answer lies in the fact that the optimum strategy for numerous video poker games is counter-intuitive. Certain, you will find a lot of palms that everyone plays optimally; if someone is dealt the As King-S Queen-S J Spades three hearts, for instance, you will search prolonged and difficult prior to you uncover a electronic poker player who would insist on discarding four and maintaining the 3 of hearts. Except there are are myriad hands where what would appear to be the right system in fact costs the player money. And in a number of cases this loss could be significant.

To greater illustrate let us look at a casino game that most of us are familiar with; Jacks or Better. At 1st glance this casino game looks like a breeze to play. There are only nine palms that qualify for a payback, and it is usually pretty easy to tell once you have a draw to one of those nine hands. Nevertheless everyday video poker players across the nation are throwing money away by doing terrible (yet ‘intuitively correct’) playing decisions. Let’s look at a handful of unique palms, and see how the ideal system varies from the intuitively right strategy.

Mistake 1) Keeping ‘Ace-face card-face card’ as opposed to just holding the 2 face cards.

You see this bet on produced all of the time, and nonetheless number of gamblers know what a disaster it seriously is. The thought behind preserving the ace is that you just possess a better possibility of constructing an ace-high straight, and you also have three great cards that you simply can attempt to pair up around the draw. Even so, by keeping the ace you’re eliminating your chances of creating four of a kind or even a full casino, and reducing your odds of creating two pair. The slight gain you receive through your increased odds of creating a direct don’t begin to compensate for these other substantial losses.

Mistake 2) Not attempting sufficient long shot draws at the direct flush.

The direct flush might be probably the most misunderstood hand in Jacks or Better. It doesn’t come around quite frequently, and it doesn’t have the sex appeal of the royal flush, and as a result most gamblers neglect it. When dealt a hand like the nine clubs 7c 5c three spades 2d several players will merely discard all five and redraw. The assumption here is the fact that the direct flush will practically never come in, so they would rather ‘cut their losses’ and attempt to pick up a huge pair on the redraw.

Again, this makes sense at very first glance. Still what is forgotten in this kind of analysis is the fact that by retaining the 9c seven clubs five clubs the player also has a possibility at a directly or a flush. Now it’s true that a draw like this isn’t a true moneymaker. But it will nonetheless pay much more, in the lengthy run, than drawing 5 new cards.

Mistake 3) Retaining a suited Ace-Ten as opposed to just preserving the ace.

This is one of the most typical errors made by video poker players at Jacks or Better. Now I’ll be the very first to admit that holding the ace and the 10 is far additional fun then just drawing to the ace. After all, whenever you hold the ace and the 10 you may have at least a little opportunity of something actually good happening; namely, hitting the royal around the draw. You also possess a far better opportunity of creating a direct or even a flush. Nonetheless as using the hand we examined in Mistake #1 these gains don’t outweigh your decreased odds of constructing four of a variety, three of a type or perhaps a big pair. If you would like to wager on optimally you’ll need to discard that 10; I know it is tough, except it must be done!

These are three of the most vivid examples of negative wager on, even though there are lots of other mistakes that a electronic poker gambler frequently makes in the course of a wagering session. If your goal is to decrease the casino advantage as a lot as achievable I recommend picking up a book that contains charts detailing the finer points of ideal play. You will find a number of books like this out around the market, and they’re surely worth the sticker price. Pore over the charts, and compare the plays they advocate with the plays you are currently making. I guarantee it will probably be a real eye-opening experience.

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